Education Digest

EDUCATION DIGEST

Education Beat

News from Howard County schools and colleges

August 28, 2005

2 schools holding open houses and ceremonies today

Cedar Lane School and Marriotts Ridge High School will hold open houses today.

The new Cedar Lane School, on the Lime Kiln Middle School campus in Fulton, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and celebrate the opening of the new facility for severely disabled students.

Howard County's newest high school, Marriotts Ridge, at 12100 Woodford Drive in Marriottsville, will hold its ceremony and open house from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The school will open this year for students in ninth and 10th grades, adding grades 11 and 12 in the next two years.

Columbia Association running poetry contest

The Columbia Association is holding a poetry contest for students ages 13 to 18. The contest winner will read his or her poem during the "Hear My Voice" Teen Day event from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 18 at Columbia Teen Center.

Teens are asked to create an original work based on the theme "Hear My Voice" and/or teen empowerment. There is no word limit. However, entries must not be longer than three minutes when read aloud. Profanity, sexual innuendo and references to drugs and/or alcohol will be grounds for disqualification.

Entries are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 12. To submit a poem, mail it to the Columbia Association Poetry Contest, Attn: Carol Wesser, 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia 21044, or e-mail it to Carol.Wesser@columbiaassoci ation.com.

Information: 410-715-5523.

Study program offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays

The Stressless Tests program will offer a four-session study- and test-skills course for middle school pupils from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, starting Sept. 6, at Burleigh Manor Middle School in Ellicott City.

A course for high school students will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 7, at Centennial High School.

The classes, which will be small, are designed to help each student learn his or her most effective study style. Students in previous Stressless Tests courses have reported higher grades, more focused study habits and less stress. The cost is $155.

Information or registration: Betty Caldwell, 410-740-4659. Stressless Tests is a program of the nonprofit HD Foundation of Howard County.

Form to be distributed on family privacy act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act authorizes local school systems to disclose some information from the educational records of a student that is designated as directory information.

The designation includes basic biographical information only; it does not include student grades, test results or any part of academic or discipline records.

The law gives parents and guardians the right to restrict the release of any category of directory information about their child. To ensure that parents are aware of this right and to provide a simple way to exercise it, the Howard County school system has developed an "annual directory information parent option form."

The new form will be sent home with students during the first week of the school year. It lists the categories of information that the school system can release and provides an opportunity to restrict release of information in any or all of the categories.

The forms will be scanned and student information restricted by parents will be flagged.

Directory information includes the student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and most recent educational institution attended.

Maryland law permits public school systems to release a student's home address and phone number only to an organization of parents, teachers, students or former students (such as PTAs or PTSAs); the military; a representative of a community college in the state; or a representative of the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

Information: 410-313-6682.

SAT prep course set to begin this week

The Mount Hebron Viking Backers is sponsoring a series of 20-hour SAT prep courses.

The courses, which are being taught by Marian McCain, a mathematics teacher at Centennial High School for 20 years, will consist of study in math and critical reading.

The next session will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, this week through Oct. 10.

Registration: Lori Birmingham, 410-418-4688 or Marian McCain, 410-461- 9057.

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